The yields per hectare of the main arable crops in the Netherlands were substantially higher in 2004 than in the preceding years. One hectare of potatoes yielded an average 46 tonnes, 6 percent more than the average for the last ten years. Moreover farmers lifted an exceptionally large crop of onions, according to Statistics Netherlands’ survey of arable farming.
Potato crop recovered
In 2004 7.5 billion potatoes were lifted from Dutch fields. This is one sixth more than in 2003. The average yield per hectare of potatoes was 46 tonnes, 13 percent more than in the drier 2003 season.The crop of potatoes grown for starch recovered in 2004. One quarter more of these potatoes were grown than in 2003, bringing the total crop to 2.3 billion kilos. This put the crop back at a similar level to that in recent years.One hectare of sandy and peaty soil yielded more than 50 tonnes of potatoes on average in 2004, 15 percent more than in 2003 and 12 percent more than the average for the last ten years.
Onions on the up
The seed onion crop grew by half compared with 2003. In 2004 the area of seed onions expanded for the fourth year in a row, to 20 thousand hectares. The yield per hectare was one quarter higher than in 2003, at 62 tonnes. For the first time arable farmers lifted more than one billion kilos of seed onions in 2004.
Arable crops more efficient
Sugar beet is being grown more efficiently. The area of sugar beet is gradually diminishing while more and more kilos are being lifted per hectare. During the beet harvest of 2004 a fairly normal 6 billion kilos of sugar beet were lifted.The amount of cereals harvested per hectare is also rising systematically. Unlike the area of sugar beet, the area of cereals has remained unchanged. Domestic cereal production has risen by one tenth in the last ten years, to 1.6 billion kilos in 2004.
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